Early on in Matthew, the story is recounted where Jesus was walking through a crowd, and a woman who had some kind of hemorrhaging for 12 years – a woman who would have been considered and treated as impure and unfit to enter God’s worship, who would have been cut off from much of the fellowship and festal feasting of God’s people; a woman who would have felt like she dwelt “in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Psalm 63.1) – alone, cut off, kicked out. She saw Jesus and secretly came up behind Jesus thinking, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well” (Matthew 9.21). She touched his robe in faith, and immediately “Jesus turned, and seeing her he said,"...He didn't say, "get away from me until you're clean enough!" Nor did he say, "Don't touch me until you have made yourself pure enough!" Instead, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well” (Matthew 9.22).
What does this have to do with communion? This is a beautiful and heartening description of exactly how we need to approach Jesus; seeking him; wanting him; believing him! Just as he did not rant and rave at the woman kicking her away, but instead welcomed her – so he welcomes us as well! And just as the woman came to Jesus for her remedy, and found his assurance - “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well”- so it is for us. If you believe in the Lord Jesus, want him better, long to hear him say “Take heart, daughter/son; your faith has made you well,” have received the sacrament of baptism and belong to his people…then I beckon you to participate with us.